Many users worry about YouTube causing their devices to use too much CPU. This is especially true when using Safari on MacBooks. Some have seen their MacBook Pro from 2019 use as much as 900% CPU while watching YouTube on Safari. High CPU usage like this can slow down or even freeze your device.

Several strategies can help lessen these big CPU loads. For example, it’s a good idea to skip videos with quality higher than 1080p. You can also turn off features like “playing when moving the mouse.” Your device might run better if you clear its cache and cookies or use Adblock Premium. Some find improvement by switching to an older macOS version like Catalina or Mojave.

YouTube’s use of the VP9 codec stands out as a key factor. This codec works best with Chrome. Since Safari doesn’t support VP9 directly, it uses more CPU for video tasks. This is a main reason why YouTube on Safari might use more CPU than other browsers.

Other solutions include ending browser processes using Activity Monitor. You can also get help from Apple Support. Making these changes can really boost your device’s performance and how you feel about using it.

Key Takeaways

  • High resolutions above 1080p significantly increase CPU usage.
  • Disabling certain Safari features can reduce CPU load.
  • Cleaning cache & cookies may improve Safari’s performance.
  • Switching to browsers optimized for VP9 codec, like Chrome, might help.
  • Regularly updating your browser can potentially lower CPU consumption.
  • Contacting Apple Support can provide additional solutions.

Understanding YouTube’s High CPU Usage

When YouTube uses a lot of your CPU, many things could be the cause. It’s key to look at the video’s resolution and quality. Also, different browsers and how they use hardware, plus what else is running in the background, matter a lot. Too many tabs open can also make your computer work harder.

Video Resolution and Quality

Videos in high resolution, like those past 1080p, can tax your CPU. This is clear when newer CPUs are using at least 60% just to run YouTube. People with older CPUs may see their usage go up to 75% just by changing the video’s size. A YouTube high CPU usage fix could be to watch videos in smaller sizes. Turning off certain features, like “ambient mode,” can help, especially for Qubes OS users.

Browser Differences and Hardware Acceleration

Your choice of browser and its settings matter too. For example, Safari might use a lot of your CPU if you have an old MacBook. Firefox might spike up to 60% CPU usage just by moving your mouse over videos. It’s important to avoid actions that could spike your CPU. Even small changes, like getting rid of the browser’s title bar, can make your CPU run hotter.

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Background Processes and Tabs

Leaving many background tasks or tabs open can overload your CPU. This can lead to your computer getting too hot and slow. It helps to limit how many tasks you’re running and close any tabs you don’t need. Some adblockers can also help. For example, Opera’s adblocker can improve CPU performance. But using blockers for JavaScript can make browsing faster on most sites, including YouTube.

Impact of Different CPU Models on YouTube Performance

It’s important to know how different CPU models affect your YouTube experience. We’ll look at the AMD vs. Intel CPU Usage, Effect of Integrated vs. Dedicated GPU, and include what users say about YouTube’s impact on CPU use.

AMD vs. Intel CPU Usage

When it comes to AMD and Intel CPUs, users notice differences in how they heat up and use fans while on YouTube. AMD CPUs, for example the AM5 series, tend to get hotter. Their fan speeds also change a lot when you watch video previews. On the other hand, Intel CPUs like the 9900K and 12600K usually don’t have these problems. Sometimes, the CPU use can be very high. The browser shows the GPU Process is up to 300% while the system task manager says the CPU load is around 100%. This shows choosing the best CPU is key for YouTube’s performance.

Effect of Integrated vs. Dedicated GPU

Deciding between an integrated or dedicated GPU affects YouTube’s performance a lot. Users see that using an integrated GPU can make the CPU heat up more. But with a dedicated GPU, like the RTX3060Ti with driver version 460.89, there’s less CPU use. Dedicated GPUs work better with hardware acceleration on tasks like Canvas, Compositing, OpenGL, Video Decode, and others. This helps take the pressure off the CPU.

Effect of Integrated vs. Dedicated GPU

User Experiences and Reports

What users say gives us great ideas for making things better. Adding the h264ify extension can drop CPU use from 100% to almost nothing when watching YouTube, some users find. Also, using Firefox instead of browsers based on Chromium can lower the CPU use a lot, as seen in a forum discussion about YouTube CPU use.


Understanding why YouTube uses so much CPU power involves looking at a few factors. These include the video’s resolution, how efficient your browser is, and what hardware you use. YouTube mainly uses the video codec VP9. This can make your CPU work more, significantly if you’re watching high-res videos or combining features like 360-degree views with bright colors. If you have a slow WiFi or an old computer, dealing with this can be harder. So, it’s vital to lessen YouTube’s impact on your CPU.

When you watch YouTube, your CPU normally uses between 5% and 25% of its power. This can jump a lot higher when you view videos in 1080p or 4K. If you’re already running other apps or games, it can get worse. To keep things working smoothly, keep an eye on how much of your CPU YouTube is using. Some users offer tips, like “fanboynz” and “rs_myst,” on setting up your browser and managing add-ons to keep your PC running well.

Choosing the right browser and making it efficient is key in controlling how much CPU YouTube uses. For example, some say that using Brave might push your CPU harder. On the other hand, tweaking your GPU’s settings, an idea from a 2018 post, could lower the load. Results vary based on the kind of CPU and GPU you have. Features like overclocking can make a big difference too. For example, an Intel HD graphics 620 might hit 45% use, while an AMD Radeon R5 m430 usually sits at about 25%. This info is crucial for users who want to strike a balance between their computer’s abilities and how they use YouTube.

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Why does YouTube use so much CPU?

Watching YouTube videos can be demanding on your CPU for several reasons. These include high video resolutions and the preference for VP9 codecs, which work best with Chrome. Also, the use of hardware acceleration in browsers like Safari can increase CPU usage. Having many tabs open and background processes add to this load.

How can I reduce YouTube’s CPU usage?

To lower CPU usage from YouTube, consider a few steps. Avoid videos with resolutions past 1080p. Turn off browser features like hardware acceleration. Clear your cache and cookies. Using ad-blockers can also lighten the load. Plus, keep your number of tabs open to a minimum. Changing browsers or downgrading your OS might help too.

Why is Safari’s CPU usage so high when watching YouTube?

The high CPU usage on Safari whilst playing YouTube might come from how it processes videos. Safari uses a different method to Chrome, which might be more demanding on your CPU. This could relate to how it handles hardware acceleration.

Does the type of CPU affect YouTube’s performance?

Indeed, the type of CPU you have can impact YouTube’s performance. AMD CPUs, specifically AMD AM5 chips, may experience more heat and fan speed changes when playing videos than their Intel counterparts. The use of integrated GPUs can further complicate things, raising temperatures during YouTube.

Can cleaning cache and cookies help with high CPU usage on YouTube?

Cleaning your browser’s cache and cookies can, in fact, reduce YouTube’s CPU usage. By doing so, you get rid of unnecessary data, making your browser run smoother. Especially if you notice your computer slowing down during video playback, this step could help.

Are there specific browser extensions that can help reduce CPU usage on YouTube?

Ad-blockers are a notable choice for lowering CPU usage on YouTube. They cut down on the amount of ads your system has to process, which lessens the overall load. Other extensions that handle background tasks or boost browser efficiency can also make a difference.

How does video resolution impact CPU usage on YouTube?

°Resolution plays a big role in how much CPU power YouTube needs. High resolutions, especially above 1080p, demand more from your CPU. By lowering the video resolution, you can ease the CPU strain and enhance performance.

What are some solutions for high CPU usage on YouTube with AMD CPUs?

If you’re using an AMD CPU and the heat and fan speeds worry you, there are fixes. You might try turning off the integrated GPU in the BIOS. Or, use a browser like Firefox, which is kinder to system resources. Power management settings and fan control programs can also be helpful.

How do different browsers compare in terms of YouTube’s CPU usage?

Different browsers manage video playback in various ways. Chrome excels with YouTube’s VP9 codec. Safari’s hardware acceleration, though good for some things, might mean higher CPU usage when watching YouTube. Firefox stands as a moderate choice, balancing performance and resource use for many users.


  • Patsy Cole

    Hey, I'm Patsy! Obsessed with the world of YouTube, I created this blog to dive deep into video trends, channel growth strategies, and the magic behind viral content. Ready to elevate your YouTube game? You've landed on the right page. Let’s hit that 'Subscribe' button on success together!

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Avatar of Patsy Cole

Hey, I'm Patsy! Obsessed with the world of YouTube, I created this blog to dive deep into video trends, channel growth strategies, and the magic behind viral content. Ready to elevate your YouTube game? You've landed on the right page. Let’s hit that 'Subscribe' button on success together!